MLB.com's Jim Street tweets that Seattle has signed recently acquired first baseman Casey Kotchman to a contract to avoid salary arbitration. The deal will pay Kotchman $3.5175 million for 2010, the exact midpoint between the figures he and the club exchanged on January 19th.
Kotchman had sought $3.9 million while the Mariners countered with $3.135 million. His 2010 salary represents a 21.9% raise from his 2009 salary of $2.885 million. This is Kotchman's third go round through the arbitration process, each with a different team. He qualified as a super 2 player after the 2007 season while still playing for the Angels.
His 2009 started in Atlanta, where he put up a .282/.354/.409 batting line in 87 games before a trade deadline deal that sent him packing for Boston. Kotchman, relegated to bench duty in Boston, saw his line slip to .218/.284/.287. Kotchman is noted for his excellent fielding acumen at first base and equally impressive plate discipline. In 1,871 plate appearances for his career he has drawn 157 walks versus 166 strikeouts.
Kotchman's signing reduces the number of players whose cases are pending to 16. The Mariners have resolved both of their arbitration cases, coming to terms with Felix Hernandez on a multi-year deal and David Aardsma on a one year deal in January. Hearings will begin imminently for the remaining players like Wandy Rodriguez, Cody Ross and Corey Hart who have not come to terms with their teams. Please visit the salary arbitration figures page for more information.
Joe Tetreault is a member of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey.
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